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Large differences in HPV vaccination coverage between different regions


Large differences in HPV vaccination coverage

According to the national vaccination register, the papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage of girls born in 2009 who started secondary school last autumn was 79% and that of boys of the same age 71%. Vaccination coverage varies from region to region. For example, in Northern Savonia, 88% of girls in the age group had received at least one HPV vaccine, while in Central Ostrobothnia the corresponding vaccination coverage was 70%. More than 80% of boys born in 2009 had received the HPV vaccine in Eastern Savonia, Southwest Finland, and Åland, but vaccination coverage was 63% in Päijänne Tavastia and North and South Ostrobothnia. 

Of large cities, Kuopio had the highest HPV vaccination coverage among girls, 89%. Vaccination coverage also exceeded 80% in Turku, Vantaa, Jyväskylä, Helsinki, and Tampere. In Turku, vaccination coverage for boys was also high, 82%. Of large municipalities, Kuopio, Vantaa, and Helsinki also achieved vaccination coverage of more than 71%.

The difference in vaccination coverage between boys and girls is at least partly explained by the start of HPV vaccinations for girls in autumn 2013 and for boys only in autumn 2020. The HPV vaccination series includes two doses. Vaccines are usually administered in fifth and sixth grades, but they can still be obtained in lower secondary school. According to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), HPV vaccines administered during lower secondary school will further increase the vaccination coverage of those born in 2009. 

HPV causes several different types of cancer, such as cancers of the oral cavity, penis, cervix, vagina, and vulva. The virus is transmitted through skin-to-skin and sexual contact. The vaccine prevents approximately 90% of cervical cancers and is also effective against other cancers caused by the papilloma virus.

More information: Targeted diseases: Human papilloma virus